Jignesh Gangajaliya's Technology Blog
Thursday, September 21, 2006
  Adding Logout functionality to a SharePoint Portal/WSS 2.0 Site


This article explains how to add a Logout link to the top right hand menu of
a SharePoint Portal Server/WSS 2.0 site just by adding a few lines of


Sharepoint Portal Server/WSS 2.0 does not provide logout functionality out of
the box. The challenge was to incorporate logout functionality without radically
rewriting the underlying .aspx pages that Sharepoint uses. This solution just
alters one javascript file (OWSBROWS.JS) which is used on every page. Any
javascript that is added to this file will affect all pages.

Some assumptions
  1. You have the SharePoint Portal Server 2003/WSS 2.0 installed and running on
    your development PC.
Using the code

When you create a Sharepoint Portal/WSS site it creates a virtual directory
called _layouts this points to the global layouts folder that can be found
at Drivename:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server

Any changes that are made to files in this folder will affect all portal
sites running on this machine. Unless you wish to alter all the sites it is
recommended that you take a copy of the layouts folder and change the virtual
directory in IIS to point to this copy.

Located in the layouts folder is the “1033” (or similar depending on your
locale) this folder contains a file called OWSBROWS.JS. This file is basically a
browser sniffer and is used on every page. Add the code below into the OWSBROWS.JS
//declare a boolean variable to check if menu has already been altered
var logoutOnLoadDone = false;

//attach to load event
window.attachEvent("onload", new Function("Logout_OnLoad();"));

//handles addition of "Logout" link to top banner
function Logout_OnLoad()
//check if already altered
if (!logoutOnLoadDone)
//get all table cells
var tableCellCol = document.getElementsByTagName("Td");

//look for "ms-banner" class - should only be one
for (var i=0; i<tableCellCol.length; i++)
var cellElm = tableCellCol(i);

//if match found...
if (cellElm.className == "ms-banner")
//add link for "Logout"
cellElm.innerHTML += "<a href=javascript:Logout()>Logout</a>";

//set altered flag to true
logoutOnLoadDone = true;

//do nothing - if it doesn't work then no logout appears

///ogout functionality
function Logout()
if (browseris.ie6up)
document.execCommand("ClearAuthenticationCache", "false");
self.location.href = ".";

alert("This feature requires Internet Explorer 6.0 Service Pack 1 or above. " +
"Please close all browser windows in order to complete the logout process.");

catch (e)
alert("This feature requires Internet Explorer 6.0 Service Pack 1 or above. " +
"Please close all browser windows in order to complete the logout process.");

The script attaches an event handler (Logout_OnLoad) to the windows load
event. This will fire every time the page loads. Logout_OnLoad uses the document
object model to find all the table cells on the page. It then loops through the
collection and finds the cell that has been created by PageHeader control. This
has a class name of “ms-banner”. The innerHTML of this cell is appended with a
“Logout” link that will fire the Logout function when clicked. The Logout using
an IE6 SP1+ only execCommand statement to clear the credentials cache thus
forcing a login dialog to appear.


  1. You may have to refresh your browser to make the logout appear the first
    time after altering the javascript.
  2. This solution will only work for IE6 users that have SP1 and above
  3. Since Sharepoint using Windows Authentication only external users will see a
    login prompt, internal users who have access to the site will be automatically
    logged in again. If you require that internal users are logged out then you will
    have to change the authentication method from Windows to Basic in IIS or you can
    change the browser settings to ask for credentials to internal users (in your
    browser go to Tools -> Internet Options -> Select Security -> Custom
    Level, then select “Prompt for username and Password” under User

Please do let me know if you find any bugs or you have any suggestions to
improve the code

My Photo
Location: Vasai Road West, Maharashtra, India

Jignesh Gangajaliya is MCAD.NET certified developer/architect having around 4+ years of experience in designing and developing solutions using Microsoft Technologies

September 2006 /

Powered by Blogger